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Sporting KC 2020 Year in Review: Cameron Duke

One of the youngest players on SKC enjoys early, but earned, minutes.

MLS: Sporting Kansas City at FC Dallas
Dallas, Texas, USA; Sporting Kansas City midfielder Cameron Duke (28) fights for the ball against FC Dallas during the second half at Toyota Stadium.
Tim Flores-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 MLS season has come to an end and much like we did in 2019 for Sporting Kansas City, it’s time to look back at how each player performed. Keep in mind the stats look diminished for many players, but just 21 regular season games were played in this COVID shortened season (instead of the typical 34). For the full list of players reviewed, head to our dedicated Year in Review page.

The Blue Testament continues our look back at 2020 with a player who made his professional debut this season — Cameron Duke.

2020 Stats

Games Played (Started): 8 (2)

Minutes Played: 218

Goals: 0

Assists: 0

xG (expected goals): 0.11

Positions Played: Box-to-Box Midfielder

2019 Salary: $69,250

2020 Salary: Unknown - But likely at or slightly above 2019.

Contract Through (Option Years): 2022 (2023)

Best Moment of 2020

July 30th. Cameron Duke made his pro debut in the 84th minute against the Philadelphia Union during MLS is Back. It’s not captured in the above regular season stats, but it’s a moment every young player will remember. Sure the game was lost at that point, but he got valuable time on the pitch against the eventual Supporter Shield winners.

Worst Moment of 2020

Were there mistakes made by Duke in 2020? Of course. Every young player makes mistakes. But I simply can’t pick a worst moment when an 19-year-old kid get valuable first team minutes when, frankly, I expected him to ride the pine (I need a better expression for those fancy seats they get to sit in). In preseason when Peter Vermes was pointing him out for exceeding expectations I’m not even sure I thought at that point he’d get out there. It’s preseason. He’s going to be with the 2nd team. But he earned first team time, even if it was fairly minimal.

Interesting Stat

Four. In his regular season debut against Minnesota United, Cameron Duke was one of four Homegrown signings on the field at once (joined by Gianluca Busio, Jaylin Lindsey and Felipe Hernandez). Not only that, but the entire midfield was made up of Homegrowns. In the history of SKC Homegrown signings, that was a record. The minutes will just keep coming for the “kids” which should point to a bright future.

Fan Vote Results

Keep: 83.9%

Release/Sell: 16.1%

Duke didn’t get a ton of time on the field in his first year, but it still surprises me how cut throat some of our voters are. His deal is guaranteed for two more years so I don’t see him going anywhere. And he fits into that “cheap” Homegrown talent field that doesn’t take up a primary roster spots and doesn’t hit the salary budget. I imagine his development was hampered a bit by an inability to loan fringe first team players to SKC II. Hopefully that’ll happen more in 2021, but it may have to be post vaccination. How cool will it be to see Cameron Duke playing with his older brother, Christian Duke? I look forward to it.